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Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira is skeptical about the league’s new rule against lowering the helmet to initiate contact.

Pereira said this morning on PFT Live that although NFL Network canceled his appearance this week Authentic Gustav Nyquist Jersey , he visited the league office and spoke with the current head of officiating, Al Riveron, and told Riveron that the officials are given an impossible task if they’re supposed to determine which of two linemen who collide head-first at the line of scrimmage initiated the contact.

“Even though the NFL Network didn’t let me come on their show, I did visit their office and get the chance to speak with Al Riveron,” Pereira said. “I talked about how I felt it was going to be tough to officiate consistently. . . . Especially because they are pretty adamant that the rule is going to pertain to and be officiated in the tackle box, which I think is almost impossible.”

Pereira said he wishes the NFL would focus on hits using the helmet involving ball carriers, tacklers, quarterbacks and receivers, rather than down linemen.

“In open space is where the rule needed to be officiated. Not in the tackle box,” Pereira said.

However Troy Apke Jersey , there’s a silver lining to what Pereira is saying: He thinks calling the penalty is going to be so difficult that officials simply aren’t going to flag it very often, and instead the new rule will be enforced by fines from the league office, rather than penalties on the field.

“I still get a sense that we’re overhyping this change. We’re just not going to see the number of penalties that people are talking about,” Pereira said. “I think you’re going to see more fines than flags.”

Pereira believes the officials will call the new penalty a lot in the preseason, but that once the games count for real, they’ll leave their flags in their pockets except on the most flagrant of hits. Which means this rule change might not be quite as big a deal as people think it is.

The Denver Nuggets have stopped scoreboard watching and suddenly started winning.

A novel concept, with coach Michael Malone posting the standings on the board for basically the last time after a loss in Toronto. Since then, they’ve won four straight to make things interesting down the stretch.

Jamal Murray had 22 points to lead six Denver players in double figures, Nikola Jokic sealed the game with a late tip-in and the Nuggets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-96 on Thursday night in a pivotal matchup between teams vying for a playoff spot.

The victory moved Denver (44-35) into a tie, record-wise Reuben Foster Jersey , with Minnesota for the eighth spot with three games remaining. Both are a half-game behind New Orleans.

”Prior to the winning streak, I think we were (looking at the standings) and putting too much pressure on ourselves,” Paul Millsap said. ”We’re just back to ourselves and playing basketball. On nights we’re not shooting well, we’re still playing and still having fun.”

Jokic finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while reserve Devin Harris added 20 points for the Nuggets. The playoff jockeying between these two teams could go down to the wire with Minnesota hosting Denver in the regular season finale Wednesday.

”We knew this was a big one coming in,” Denver’s Mason Plumlee said. ”But as big as this is, we have to forget about it.”

Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds before fouling out with 1:46 remaining.

Up 98-96 with 6.6 seconds left, Will Barton took a shot that bounced off the rim and in Jokic’s direction, and he batted it in with 4.3 seconds on the clock to wrap up the win. Jokic was an uncharacteristic 6 of 20 from the field.

”Joker couldn’t make a shot to save his life,” Murray joked. ”Comes in and gets a tip-in. That’s what he does. That’s who he is Leonard Floyd Jersey , man.”

Minnesota had a familiar face available and sitting on the bench in Jimmy Butler, but he didn’t get into the game. Butler has been out since suffering a right knee injury on Feb. 23 at Houston. The Wolves are 8-9 since Butler was sidelined.

”So just taking everything into consideration, we just thought it was best to wait another day,” Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said.

This game featured quite a showdown between two elite big men in Towns and Jokic. They pushed and shoved each other around before Towns fouled out with 1:46 remaining while trying to cover Murray on the perimeter.

”You want to be out there, you want to be helping the team,” Towns said. ”You just got to find ways to win regardless of the situation.”

No time for looking back, though.

”We can’t take back what happened tonight,” Towns said. ”There’s no time to weep.”

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: G Jeff Teague (knee) was back after missing a game and scored 15 points. Derrick Rose (ankle) had four. … Towns earned his 65th double-double of the season.

Nuggets: G Gary Harris missed a 10th straight game with a strained right knee. ”Longer than I think anybody anticipated,” Malone said. ”Just not where it needs to be for him to come back.” … Jokic had nine assists.

OUCH

Towns momentarily stayed down early in the third after taking an elbow to the face from Millsap. Towns remained in the game.

Moments later, Murray took an accidental hand to the face from Towns while trying to grab a rebound. Murray hit the floor before slowly getting back up.

NOT BUYING IT

In his pregame chat Brent Burns Jersey , Malone said he didn’t buy that Butler would sit out despite being listed as doubtful.

”Believe that if you want,” Malone said. ”I got a bridge to sell you.”

Water under the bridge – Butler didn’t play.

HARRIS TO THE RESCUE

Denver caught fire late in the third behind the shooting of Harris, who had nine points to help the team close out the quarter on an 11-0 run.

”It was my night to make shots,” Harris said. ”It’s going to be somebody else’s the next night. Going into this playoff push, it’s got to be all hand’s on deck.”

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Travel to Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Friday.

Nuggets: Denver plays two of its final three games on the road, including Saturday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.



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